Santbir Singh is a Project Associate with the Sikh Research Institute. An avid student of Sikhi, he has spoken at retreats, conferences, and youth camps for over two decades.
Santbir has been cultivating a deeper relationship with Sabad Guru while focusing on Sikh inspirations for social activism, feminism, and human rights through a critical analysis using different schools of thought and tradition.
Born in Vancouver, he completed his bachelor's degree at McGill and currently lives in Toronto with his two wonderful children, amazing wife, and crazy dog.
Santbir Singh is a Sidak Alumni of 2012 a frequent facilitator at Sidak.
We all suffer at times, weighed down with personal traumas, disappointments and regrets. According to the Buddhists, the primary truth of all of human existence is suffering. But in Sikhi, while our Guru acknowledges that there is much suffering in life, there is more to life and the universe than mere suffering. No, life is so much more than suffering.
Like many young Sikh-Canadians and Sikh-Americans, I've done the full circuit.I started as a kid at the Punjabi Sunday School, moved on to the day camps run by the gurdwaras during school holidays. Then, in university and after, I started going from the West Coast to the East, attending conferences and retreats.
For many Sikhs today, there is little difference between being Punjabi and being Sikh. But this was not always the case. Sikhi has a rich and vibrant history outside of the Land of the Five Rivers and it is a legacy the Panth is only beginning to take notice of. In fact, four of the five Punj Piarey — the Five ‘Beloved Ones’ of the First Vaisakhi Day — were from outside of Punjab.
We are not strangers to random acts of violence and discrimination. Although mass shootings have become far too common in America in recent years, rarely have these horrific crimes been targeted at one community. Today, that changed. Our beautiful gifts, our kesh and dastars, have become easy targets for the ignorant and angry. Since 9/11 that discrimination has only increased. However, with the exception of the senseless killing of Balbir Singh Sodhi, these attacks have never been so deadly. Now Sikh Americans are left confused and uncertain of how to respond.